Teddy Thompson - Bella
“I've been looking for a girl who drinks and smokes / Who takes a lot of drugs and can take a joke…” Hey, haven’t we all ? Judging by the lamentations housed within these walls of heartache, Teddy Thompson’s still looking too. Long may he do so if this tremendous set is anything to go by. Single ‘Looking For A Girl’ sets the tone and the likes of ‘Take Me Back Again’ and ‘The One I Can’t Have’ continue a manfully honest line in woe-is-me wistfulness which is always wry, never self-pitying. Few writers so effectively bring into sharp, unsettling focus the blurry line between the pain of such open heart surgery and the release afforded by laser-guided self-mockery, and Thompson nails it throughout. Set against a backdrop of country-tinged grooves that recall originals like George Jones and gear up at times to a smooth croonery that lifts handsomely from Roy Orbison, Bella handles both laughter and tears with deft skill. It drops both on your quivering sensibilities like a grenade. Thompson’s wit and eloquence grows. Seriously excellent.